A euphemism is a word or phrase that substitutes for language that might be considered direct, harsh or offensive. In Indonesian, we may find a lot of euphemisms both in daily speech and in written language. To give one example, we say “Saya mau ke belakang” instead of “Saya mau ke kamar mandi”.
Euphemisms also exist in English. They can be found in spoken and written language. The nature is the same in that they function as substitutes for offensive words or expressions.
It is worth noting, however, that euphemisms should not obscure meaning and truth. They should not keep the listener or reader away from the reality. Therefore, it is wise to avoid using a euphemism when a more direct word or phrase is more suitable in a certain situation.
Some common euphemisms in English:
  • adult movie n a pornographic movie: Parents must guard their children from watching adult movies.
  • challenged adj disabled: Their son George is intellectually challenged. (= Their son has severe learning difficulties.)
  • pass away phr v to die: My grandfather passed away last night.
  • underprivileged adj poor; not having the advantages of an average person’s life: The organization has helped many underprivileged people in this country.
  • senior citizen n an old person: The rights of senior citizens are protected by the law in this country.
  • substance abuser n a drug addict: The local government is concerned about the growing number of substance abusers in the city.
  • tired and emotional adj drunk: His friends were scolded by his tired and emotional father.
The following examples are less acceptable because their purpose is not to avoid offending people but to deceive them:
  • peace-keeping forces n armies.
  • collateral damage n people killed in bombing attacks.
  • surgical air-strikes n bombing raids.
Ditulis oleh : Harlan   Telah dibaca : 4691
Copyright © 2013. ELTI Gramedia. All Rights Reserved.